President Barack Obama held two brief discussions with Pakistani President Asif Zardari amid Monday’s NATO Summit in Chicago but did not negotiate an agreement to open supply lines within the country, a key piece of tension between the two nations.
“We didn’t anticipate that the supply line issue was going to be resolved at this summit,” Obama said during a press conference following the Summit. “We knew that before we arrived in Chicago.”
Added Obama, “We’re actually making diligent progress on it.”
Obama did not hold an official bilateral meeting with the Pakistani President, unlike a number of other world leaders attending the international gathering. The conversations allegedly took place as the leaders were entering the summit.
The supply routes, which were used to supply coalition troops within Afghanistan with resources, were closed by the Pakistani government after the U.S. carried out an airstrike within Pakistan’s borders that killed 24 of the nation’s soldiers. The U.S. maintains that NATO forces were engaged initially.
In addition to the supply routes, Obama said that he emphasized ensuring Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan’s future, maintaining stability in the country and recognizing a common enemy among extremists.